Name: Tanmayi Gidh
Date of Birth: 4th June 1996
Sport: Slacklining / Highlining
Started Slacklining: 2015
How long have you been slacklining for, and how did it all start?
It was a natural evolution from climbing to slacklining for me, as with many people from the community. I started slacklining off and on when I was in Pune, almost 3 years ago. However, it was mainly in Nasik that there was really the space and time to practice.
And your journey onto tricklining and highlining, tell us about that.
The moment you can mount and balance, (mount, mostly :P) there’s always the question, are we ready for a highline? So it was naturally something I would go on to try. Tricklining I was introduced to much later, and only briefly, at Covelong.
Is it true? Slacklining is like meditation?
I would think so, yes. It’s moving meditation. Focus is the essential element of the line, if you lose that, you’re off. When you’re very aware and mindful of every step, that feeling is quite something.
Who was your inspiration? Is he/ she still your favourite slacker?
I probably can’t name specifically a slacker/ highliner who is/ was my inspiration. But there’s a lot of people I admire in the community. I think Mia Noblet is a real badass though. She is one of the six people currently holding the world record for the longest highline (1.9 KM).
Do you have a favourite thing to do on a line?
What I really enjoy these days is slackline yoga. It’s both the things I love, so I am working on that routine.
Tell us about your most challenging line until now.
My most challenging line would be the water line rigged at Bhedaghat. The water gives you a different illusion altogether. And the force with which it was flowing too; makes it very difficult to focus.
Other sports you indulge in?
Other than slacklining, I climb and cycle, nothing competitive. There's ample natural rock as well as beautiful countryside to ride across in every direction around Nasik. Lots explored, lots of potential.
What’s your favorite spot to highline in India?
The coolest line I’ve attempted would be the waterfall line at Bhedaghat, but my favourite location would be Lonavla. There’s too many memories attached to it! It was my first (legit) highline attempt, it’s where the festival would happen, where the community came together, where we rigged the longest highline of India, spent endless days bolting, rigging, de-rigging the lines. It’s home now.
How supportive has your family been towards this passion, it must be scary for them to think of you trying to walk a thin rope 300 mtrs off ground?
I guess they’ve really come around. The more I would involve them, the more stories they’d hear, the more interested they got. Of course it was also after they were assured about the safety aspect of the sport (and figured it was a lost battle). There’s sometimes a few hiccups but I’m sure they’d love to be around on the next project.
Do you dream to pursue slacklining and variations as a career?
Ouch. Big word. Honestly, I don’t aim to pursue any particular career. There’s a lot of things I love doing, whether it has to do with adventure or environment or travel or community work or writing. What I want is the freedom to keep moving, keep exploring. I take projects as they come, and on good days, get to pursue more than one thing at a time.
What else keeps you going besides lining?
It’s everything I mentioned above. I’d get a little squirmy if I did only one thing for too long.
Tell us a little about your journey with Inspire Crew.
Well it was a tumultuous few days of shoot. But the project itself and the commitment and drive with which it’s been put together is really amazing! It’s quite interesting getting to know all the stories that are coming out through Inspire Crew.
What kind of support do you and your buddies lack, in order to continue to pursue this sport?
Mostly permissions. It was a big hurdle in being able to practice in Pune. Most parks/ public spaces we hit, we’d be asked out. Mainly because it’s a new sport and there’s a gap in understanding, it’s seen as a liability. The same goes for highlining. Permissions are always the tricky part, and customs, since we’re always at it.
Lastly, any word of advice for your community?
I mean, not really any advice I could give to the community. But the best part about having joined the community at the time and place I did was because the sport in India was very new and the community itself was evolving, growing and learning. There was a lot to figure and the more we interacted with each other, and the international community, we grew with it. If we can keep that part, that community feeling intact, I think that’s a real win.
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